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Poster: ReddyKillowatt Date: Jan 10, 2006 12:53pm
Forum: etree Subject: Best Dead Era?

Which do you prefer?
65-73
73-79
80-89
90-95

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Jan 10, 2006 9:24pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

If I had to choose I'd say 1973-1977, with '77 being the absolute best single Dead Year ever.

That being said there are many wonderful gems to cull from the 1979-1983 era, and I would agree w/the posters who said 1981 and '82 in particular are consistently fantastic.

For a great representative of a 1981 show I would recommend 5-1-81 Hampton (available here w/an AUD that's actually better than a SBD) and for 1982 a show in West Palm Beach, Fla. dated 9-11-82.

Virtually ANY show from 1977 is golden, despite the formulaic set lists of that year. They played the songs with technical precision AND high octane passion. 10-29-77 will bear this out if anyone wants an example.

And yes there are still great shows after 1983 but I find the examples of those are more isolated. Arguments of course will ensue. But I say this having seen the bulk of my shows from 1984-1990 (first show was 1979, one of the last Keith-Donna shows ever) and I truly believe the band started to slip in overall magnificence after 1983.

I do believe there was a short revival period of 1989-1991 when Jerry gave it one last college try and certainly the Branford shows in 1990 and the run at Alpine Valley in 1989 are great examples of wonderful shows.

I would say that after 1991 things were really more miss than hit, including some really cringe-inducing performances I don't fault Jerry for at all...he just was caught in a steam locamotive of something that had become more of a "scene" than a band and was rolling down a track that could only lead to exhaustion and ultimately tragedy.

Whatever the case, I bet we can all agree that we miss it terribly, and we never had such a good time, in our life before , and if we could, would love to have it one time more.

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Poster: lip11 Date: Jan 13, 2006 11:18am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Listen to this man. I put the Dekalb, IL show on tonight from 10/29/77, and it f***kin rips.

If you have to pick a year, 1977 is my choice, with 1971 and
1970 a very close 2nd, but it really depends on the mood you're in!

John

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Jan 15, 2006 6:38pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Right on, L.... Glad you enjoyed it! Oughta be a Dix Pix some day...so sad the SBD is no longer available for DL...

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Poster: davidbarfield Date: Jan 14, 2006 1:48am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

my favorite is '69 > '89.

is that an era?

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Poster: smarcus Date: Jan 14, 2006 4:27am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

The first time I saw the Grateful Dead was in 1967 at a free concert in Palo Alto. I didn't like Pigpen's singing so I left and didn't see them again until 1973, but I didn't jump on the bus until 6/9/77. Tape wise I love:

1969-1974 (extremely well rehearsed and tight in 1969-1971)

1975 (great fresh sound for the few shows they played)

1977-1978 (pretty much all of 1977 and the shows at Winterland after Egypt)

1984 ( A few really good shows, but Garcia's drug play is really starting to show it's evil horns coming to a head in 1985 when he looked like the ungrateful dead...)

1987-1990 (1987 Jerry was just happy to be playing and alive. His solo's were short, but sooooo hot! 1988 Really starting to feel his chops. 1989-1990 (to July) two of the best years in Grateful Dead history. Brent was at his peak and Jerry was in full form.)

About Vince, I personally like Vince, he is a great guy, but putting him in the Grateful Dead was a "money" choice. They had to find a replacement for Brent or lose an entire fall tour plus the new years run. I suggested to Jerry at the time to take six months to a year off and figure out why so many people were dieing at shows and around them. But money won out and Vince was hired.

For me, Vince just didn't cut it, and even though I went to a few hundred shows from 1990-1995 the only ones I really enjoyed and Jerry really enjoyed were the ones with Bruce Hornsby.

Reddykillowatt; that was Phil Lesh's longin at The Well for a long time...

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Poster: Eric Muehlbauer Date: Jan 14, 2006 5:57am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

I saw the Dead for the first time at the April 29 1971 Fillmore East concert...still my all time favorite of the concerts I saw. I followed them regularly until the Labor Day 1977 concert at the Raceway in NJ...I was really turned off by that concert...songs were OK, but the small amount of jamming they did seemed tired and repetitive...still, it ended up on Dick's Picks....I lost interest in them after that, and didn't get back into the dead until Jerry died...I have to say, that while to me, the Dead were at their best from 1969-1974, their peak periods were 1970-71, and again in 1973, especially in the early part of the year. Both times, I think, were due to a burst of songwriting and creativity...first, the Workingman's Dead/American Beauty songs, then the Wake of the Flood songs in '73...I still think that Eyes of the World is one of their top jam songs...A lot of people agreed with me that they seemed to decline in 1977, and told me that they got better again in the early 80's. To be quite honest, I really haven't heard that much from the 80's...but I've downloaded a lot of 90's stuff, and didn't like it....they almost sound at times like a Grateful Dead tribute band....Take care, Eric

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Poster: thepipedog Date: Jan 14, 2006 6:51am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

absoeffinlootly ditto

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Poster: EstimatedEyes Date: Jan 14, 2006 6:54pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

89-90 for me with a sparkly on 9/10/91 :P West Coast Summer Tour 90 was nice :)

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Poster: darkstar92772 Date: Jan 11, 2006 8:45pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

This is a hard one indeed. I do listen to alot of Grateful Dead, probably more than any reasonable person should. But, as far as eras go I think I usually fall back on 72-74, however it mostly depends on my mood. Like I tell my non-head friends I can find something you will like. If you want psychedelic, then upto '70, you want tight good time music '71, jazzy, then of course '72-74, if you want tight ass good rock n' roll '76-77 and various '78 shows, admitedly I'm not up on '78 like I should be. Then If you want something a little poppy then Brent is the guy for you. And I don't know how this will come off, but I'm not a fan of Vince Welnick at all so I completely disregard '90-'95. I would love somebody to turn me on to this era, but its just not my thing. After all this, the point I wanted to make was this, the Grateful Dead are such an incredible band because they cover it all and the best era just depends on ones mood.

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Poster: DEADBUCK Date: Jan 11, 2006 10:57pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

OK OK OK lets just face it...every god damn day that they were was the best eras...I mean really like breaking it down to tuesdays in september 67 between 7:00pm and 8:26 they were the best.....slow down...they were and still are the best...everyday every night all year long...even on a bad night...they are still better than watching the back door boys lip sync some gay pop crap. GET IT?

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Poster: shanebrant Date: Jan 11, 2006 3:11am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

There is just something about the early Dead up to 70, also the two bands they had before changing into a new band and a new sound.

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Jan 11, 2006 11:38pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Wow, it's funny, Deadbuck, but on my original reply to this thread I was gonna say I listen to 69-74 and79-85 Dead, but other than that, it's early Backstreet Boys and In Sync (although when they added that new choreographer, it all went downhill)!! I thought this was a civilized site, but when you dis us gaycrapheads, THOSE ARE FIGHTING WORDS!!!

This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2006-01-12 07:33:00

This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2006-01-12 07:38:48

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Poster: DEADBUCK Date: Jan 11, 2006 11:35pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

come on now....peace love and bobby kool aid for all.....hey dont forget the new push to up load the new kids on the block..they are the next beatles you know!

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Poster: josewavo Date: Jan 12, 2006 8:51am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Talk about a true band of brothers...everyone's comments are great and true to form. Damn, don't I miss the days of finding my tickets in the mail and setting off down that long, hardly lonesome road.

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Poster: stratocaster Date: Jan 12, 2006 9:43am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

73-79 is the best era for me, given the choices and the way the eras were defined. The 80s are a really close second. I do agree with the Bopper and others about the early 80s. I love Garcia's expanded palette of tones, particularly his use of more distortion and delay in the early 80s. Weir also became a little better slide player and his tones expanded, as well.

The band as a whole had phenomenal years in 1974 and 1977 especially, 73-78 close behind and 79 provided a really interesting year in music.



This post was modified by stratocaster on 2006-01-12 17:43:51

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Poster: The Bopper Date: Jan 10, 2006 5:22pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

I have to narrow it down more, '80 - '83. Garcia played the best guitar of his life during these years, and '81-'82 are the absolute highlights for me. Garcia's playing during this time was fast and precise, and he carried the band. I constantly listen to shows from other periods, but always find myself coming home to a nice early to mid 80's show. JGB was also in their prime between '80 and '83.

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Poster: Liamfinnegan Date: Jan 10, 2006 9:14pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Bopper- Glad to see that you and I agree about the early 80's. I always enjoy your posts, and have done a search on the forum using your screen name to pull out your commentary- it has led me to solme great listening

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Poster: The Bopper Date: Jan 11, 2006 1:02am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Awesome, thanks - On bt.etree.org there is a new Charlie Miller soundboard of 4/12/82. This SBD was never on the archive.

http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=21447


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Poster: Bigriver1047 Date: Jan 16, 2006 10:59pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

What about 85? Thats my favorite year. Saratoga, Chula vista, greeks are where its at. 80-85 are great yrs no matter how bad the old man looked. Persian seemed to be working for him up until then.

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Jan 11, 2006 7:37am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Bopper, it's nice to see someone who appreciates the early Brent years. They often seem to get the short shrift on this site. I agree that 81-82 are the best of the post 75 era. To me the last great period lasted from the Fall 79 East Coast tour to the end of 83. To me 81 is the best year I ever saw ( I attended shows from mid 78 on.). It seemed that almost every show was high energy and musically precise. All the tours that year were great, starting at the Uptown Theater, through the east coast, the incredible summer midwest tour, the Greeks , to Europe and through New Years. It was a truly great year for Dead Heads. It's nice to hear from someone who appreciates that era, sometimes it seems that the folks who frequent this site are people who don't quite appreciate that era, i see a lot of "the early 80's were a low point for the Dead" comments. I rarely listen to shows after 1988, although I saw them frequently in that era, I always thought that they could have done a lot better than Vince. I bet we were at a lot of the same shows.

This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2006-01-11 15:37:00

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Jan 10, 2006 2:30pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

I mostly listen to 69-74 and 79-83

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Poster: elkdog Date: Jan 11, 2006 4:48am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

I'm gonna narrow it down a bit more, as well, and say that 72-74 is my favorite era, with Keith on board, but pre-"retirement". I listen to Dead shows from all eras, though rarely from the post-Bruce 90's, and love it all, but to my ears, those 72-74 shows are the most consistently transcendant and inventive playing, with some jaw-droppingly beautiful moments.
I suppose that of the eras you put forth, I'd have to go with 65-73, since the 68-70 era is really incredible too, but I'm not sure why you drew a division between 73 and 74.
I was recently asked to pick my favorite whiskey, and had a similarly hard time. So many good ones...

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Poster: ReddyKillowatt Date: Jan 11, 2006 7:49am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

I'm really quite fond of 1969 Dead. It's a very crazy year for the Dead. The Garcia/Hunter songwriting team started to take off from the beginning. Early '69 shows still sounded like the Anthem of the Sun sound, which was an awesome sound. Spring-Summer 69' was cool because of the acoustic sets. A real variety of songs was played then. Winter '69 they started to mold their best sound they ever had (in my opinion, of course) the live sound of 1970. But I must say, I love every Dead era there is.

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Poster: Driftin N Dreamin Date: Jan 12, 2006 12:03am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

LOL!!! Did I just read that because the Dead on their worst day were better than Backstreet boys on their best day, that means that they were always the best??? Yeah, and George W is a good president because he's better than Hitler or Stalin on their best days. Listen, I love the Dead and listen to them at least 75% of the time, but in truth, I would rather listen to some vintage Allman Bros, Coltrane, Bromberg, Santana,Bonnie Raitt, or any number of great musicians than the GD on some of their worst nights. (please note that the "George W is a good president" was written to make a point, he's not a good one IMO)

This post was modified by Driftin N Dreamin on 2006-01-12 07:49:20

This post was modified by Driftin N Dreamin on 2006-01-12 08:02:41

This post was modified by Driftin N Dreamin on 2006-01-12 08:03:15

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Poster: DEADBUCK Date: Jan 11, 2006 11:49pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

no no...they arent the best because of the backstreet boys...(though that is just more proof)they are the best because they are the best. As far as W goes....well...i am not drinking anyones kool aid on any of that either....the dead had the best shirts too....but second to theirs was the one that said Nuke and Pave....I like it...:) Allmans and Carlos are great as well.

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Poster: Zeno Marx Date: Jan 11, 2006 3:06am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

I'm not sure I agree so much with the grouping of years, but that's all a matter of subjectivity. I can't pick a period as a favorite because it is all a matter of my mood. *Most days it is the '69 period (what I call the Dark Star Period).* Then, other days, I'm reminded how much I like '77-era (what I call the Blues for Allah Period or GDP Era) and think they are my favorite. Last week it was the mid-60s pop sound. The week before it was the Alpine Valley shows of '89. I'm not saying anything new. I'm sure the greatest majority feels quite similar.

Moods!

I have the hardest time enjoying post-Brent and the '72-era shows with 30 songs; too many songs, too normal, not enough experimentation. (feel free to recommend a show or two to help me see the light)

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Poster: Fishead Date: Jan 11, 2006 2:37am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Which do you prefer?
65-73 & 80-89

especially love those 1970 darkstars....

80-89 the energy brent brought cant be topped!!
just so damm good....

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Poster: UncleJohnsKnows Date: Jan 13, 2006 9:28am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?


I tell you what, I'm listening to 9/23/72 right now and it's pretty damn sweet.

My favorite year changes - 71, 77, maybe 76, but 72 is a comfortable chair or hangin out with old friends - it's like coming home again!

My first show was in 80, but I guess those hours listening to Europe 72 must have burned something into my brain.

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Poster: bonk Date: Jan 10, 2006 11:34pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Its all releative really.
I would say for me 1968-1969 was the year in which The boys really had a unique brew of every kind of music out there.At this time,no one had ever heard such beautiful noise.This period was not there peak per say,but was by far thier most rewarding.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Jan 10, 2006 11:52pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

gotta agree to that assessment Bonk. it was jawdroppingly unique, fresh, and lively. there was just so much positive energy in the music during those two years.

personally my favorite time period is probably the 73-79 era. those years just reach my ears a bit differently than the rest, although i love them all prior to 91. i just love that jazzy clean sound of 73 and especially 74.

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Poster: bonk Date: Jan 10, 2006 11:56pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

a very close second...1990...Jan-July

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Poster: DEADBUCK Date: Jan 10, 2006 11:59pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Id say anything prior to Bobby saying "See Ya" to the loyal fans who have fed his but for years! I am still not drinking the Kool Aid

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Poster: josewavo Date: Jan 11, 2006 6:09pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

What the Dead were doing to/with music in the 68-70 period has always held a supreme fascination for me. I love the '77 Dancing in the Street's, the '72 Truckin's, the '80's Scarlet/Fire and the late 80's Shakedown and everything in between, but the symphonic Cryptical/Caution/Alligator/Viola/St. Stephen/...and least we forget "the transitive nightfall of diamonds" along with the "bid you goodnight" at the sweet ends, I just think to hear this alongside with what the rest of the country was listening to is nothing short of true high art. And while nothing can be sustained forever, and their transition into the jam/ballads of the 70's held its own true form for many years, the sheer voracity of their margins, the boldness as well as the fine touch is a pleasure like no other. And to reach the end with Bobby saying "see ya" somehow reflects the vacumn on the oppisite end of the spectrum. What a sad lost little boy he really is. Free the Boards Bob so that this period as well as the others will live far beyond our petty concerns.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Jan 11, 2006 12:04am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

that "see ya" still resonates in my ears and still stings. he may not be totally to blame, but those words.....
just can't get rid of that bitter taste in my mouth over that one. although i'm not boycotting ratdog - it is certainly much tougher to listen to them now.
Phil, on the other hand, (although not blameless) still rules and I can't get enough of his band.

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Poster: ReddyKillowatt Date: Jan 11, 2006 1:27am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

i agree. As much as I hate what happen with the sbd's I still can't say a bad word against Phil. He's just a baddass on the bass. Does Hunter have anything to say about this situation?

R.I.P.
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan

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Poster: Sluggo714 Date: Jan 11, 2006 1:22am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Interesting grouping of eras. I'd rather call 'em by name. The Pigpen era, the Kieth and Donna era, the Brent era and the post-Brent.

For me the Pigpen era rings most true, and IMHO the best live stuff the Dead put out was durnig this time (Live Dead, Skullfuck and Europe '72) This was also when the rest of the band were at their best, especially the seminal year of 1972- best Dead sound ever. Jerry rocked, Pig jammed and Bobby wasn't as much at the front as in later years.

The Kieth and Donna era was a mixed blessing. While I loved Kieth's keys, Donna's *cough* "vocals" could ruin a show, especially if she was too loud. I constantly find myself hitting "next" while listening to shows where Donna's voice makes me want to yak. Never heard such excruciatingly horrid Music Never Stoppeds. When Donna was turned down low the sound was incredible.

The Brent phase was the one I actually got to experience first hand. While I truly liked Brent, he would rate well behing both Pig and Kieth as keyboardist, but his energy and voice replaced Donna spectacularly. Not quite up to Pigpen standards, but at least I never had to turn Brent off. During this time Jerry was also a hit or miss proposition. At times spectacular, at times mediocre, especially his vocals.

Post Brent. Eh. Truly forgettable. Weak setlists, uninspired playing. Shoulda quit while they were ahead.

So: 1st: Pigpen era, 2nd Brent Era, 3rd Kieth and Donna, 4th Post Brent

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Jan 11, 2006 7:39am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

I wrote the following a week ago, then filed it away as too subjective.

As the posts in this topic reveal, listeners are all over the board and can't be pigeon-holed so easily!

"I think you can catagorize listeners of GD into 3 basic groups:

1. The vast majority prefer live shows from the mid-70's through mid '80's, and often have favorites
as well from the post 1986 years, and have favorites from the Europe 1972 tour, a few from 1971.
On occasion will venture into 1968 - 1970 shows,

Mostly steer clear of 1966 - 1967 and the early studio albums.

Certain primal shows rate highly such as the March 1, 1969 set; the Feb. 14, 1968 show, the NY 1970 shows.

2. The small number of those who love the raw 1966
sets, the 1st Lp and early studio sessions; the short and fast Dark Star versions if any, from 1968.

They rarely listen to live sets after 1969, though some 1970, 1971 and 1972 sets rate highly...
Certain songs such as Unbroken Chain, Alabama Getaway and the 1st Garcia solo album are enjoyed.

There is a sub-group who rarely listen to post 1967 shows, and a further sub-level who prefer the 1965-1967 studio recordings, some of Aoxomoxoa and of course Workingman's, American Beauty, some of Mars Hotel but nothing from Anthem of the Sun ("one long side with no seperation between songs"), or Live Dead.

3. Then there are those who love it all, the live 66 shows as much as the early '90s, though they mostly play the mid-'70s and especially 1977-78."


I know 3 friends besides myself who more or less fall into the 2nd group, 1 in each of the sub-levels of #2 and 1 who fits into the 3rd.

While the 2nd group may sound closed-minded, they're open to less than state of the art recordings,
and may like many different experimental '60s nuggets.

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Poster: Liamfinnegan Date: Jan 10, 2006 1:59pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Hard to say, as I have different reasons for loving different eras- depending on my mood. If I look at what I listen to the most, it would be 73-79 and 80-85.

A special call out goes to 1976, as the band had a really great sound in that year- and they were thrilled to be together and touring again after retiring- and setlists were not formulaic

Another call out goes to 1982, which is not talked about much, but there are a lot of really good shows there

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Poster: Geeospear Date: Jan 10, 2006 1:21pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

73-79 because they were just so smooth and the recordings are really great. I wasnt around for any of the shows, so all ive got are the recordings...and as far as recordings go, my best come from that era.
I also like the 80s, especially musically...but i gotta go with 73-79 overall.